UK

Spanish Royal Murder Suspect Held

07/07/2011 14:46 BST | Updated 06/09/2011 10:12 BST

A Spanish national wanted in connection with an alleged attempt to kill his country's king, Juan Carlos, has been arrested in an armed swoop in Cambridge.

A European arrest warrant was issued for Eneko Gogeaskoetxea Arronategui over an attempted assassination in 1997.

Scotland Yard and Cambridgeshire Police said they raided a property in the university city this morning following an "intelligence-led" operation.

Arronategui, 44, believed to be a member of Basque separatist group Eta, is due to appear before City of Westminster magistrates for an extradition hearing.

Spanish authorities believe he attempted to assassinate King Juan Carlos in October 1997 before fleeing the country.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said his arrest warrant states he is wanted for a string of offences, including participation in an armed gang, attempted assassination of the king, terrorism resulting in death, possession of weapons and theft.

Counter-terror detectives supported by local officers were searching a home and two business addresses in Cambridge.

Eta, a militant group fighting for an independent Basque homeland, has been blamed for more than 800 deaths during its 42-year campaign in Spain. The group has been linked with a string of assassination plots on Juan Carlos, who became king in 1975.